Scrappy Spring Table Runner



I have this awesome bin of fabric scraps. I’m *that* person who can’t throw away something that might have a use some day… down the road… even though I don’t know when.

Typically the bin gets pulled out when I’m doing paper piecing. Often I’ll find the perfect pieces at just the right size, even if I have to root around for it first!

But the bin has been overflowing lately and it was time to tame the beast. I dedicated a couple of evenings one week to dutifully going through all the scraps, finding pieces that were big enough, pressing them with my iron, and cutting them out in to perfect little squares. I still didn’t have a plan for them. But I felt they might get better used this way.


It is finally spring here in Winnipeg (somewhat, we had a bit of a relapse into the cooler temps this week but I’m hopeful warmer weather is literally just around the corner).

So I decided to finally pull out those perfect little pile of scrappy bits and pull together a new table runner for my dining room.

This is one of those projects you can just kinda make up as you go!

I laid everything out and then sat back for a bit and made sure I was happy with the colours. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, just placed the pieces in random order. But I did want to make sure I didn’t have duplicates or an unwilling pattern sneak up on me.


Using a quarter inch seam allowance, I pieced together the short rows first.


I’m always amazed how much you lose in length with that seam allowance. The math makes sense but it’s still always surprises me.


Then I pieced all the short rows together.


I decided to do just a white border around all four sides. My border ended up being 6 inches in width.

DSC_3945And of course, I stitched-in-the-ditch (SITD) all of the scrappy pieces using my walking foot on my Janome Skyline S7.

I’m a staunch SITD supporter. I always feel any other design you quilt really pops when you take your time and SITD. It also holds your batting in place which is particularly important when you are quilting larger pieces.


After playing with all those scrappy bits, I picked a binding fabric that would play off all those colours and frame the entire project. Call me crazy but I love creating my own binding and the whole process of sewing it on.

I’m super excited about this fresh new piece for the dining room.

What spring projects are you currently working on? Scrappy bits — save or toss? And what about stitch-in-the-ditch, yay or nay?

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CANADA CELEBRATES 150 YEARS SINCE CONFEDERATION……and Janome celebrates with a Special Edition sewing machine. 

150 years … That’s something to celebrate !!!Logo 150e

The logo of 150-M100QDC Special Edition for Canada’s 150th, was designed by Canadian artist Tamara Kate who is one of our Janome Artisans as well.

Throughout Canada’s history, generations of seamstresses have adopted the art of quilting for practical and creative purposes. Canada’s quilt guilds are a great way to meet friends who share this passion. There is a HUGE celebration and charity quilting project currently underway with the Canadian Quilters Association/ACC with the BIG QUILT BEE .  Quilters all over  Canada – and beyond – are currently busy making blocks, quilt tops and quilting (hopefully) 1000 quilts to donate to Ronald MacDonald Houses across Canada.

Discover Canada’s quilt organizations. You will find inspiring galleries, a variety of quilt resources and membership information on Associations websites.

Courtepointe Quebec  Logo 2

Canadian Quilters Association Logo 1

Especially for Canada’s 150th anniversary, Janome presents the Canada 150 – M100QDC SPECIAL EDITION sewing machine. What a beautiful initiative … What a beautiful gesture of recognition!

Machine Tamara Kate

But Janome does not do things by half … here is the logo digitized in 3 versions by Freelance Janome Educator, Yvonne Menear. Celine proudly embroidered these designs:

FE 1


Stem Stitch Outline Leaf


FE 2

Textured Fill Stitches Leaf


FE 3


Stylized String Leaf

The Canada 150 ( M100QDC) is stylish yet powerful. To appreciate the characteristics and the electronic functions that make this machine a dream, it is best to sit down at the machine and sew!  Watch for a further post where Celine presents her samples and project!

Visit your local authorized Janome Canada dealer to see the Canada 150 limited edition  (M100QDC) in action:  a demonstration, see samples, and … especially to try it out !!!

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Are you the happy owner of a Janome Cover Pro? Either the Cover Pro 2000CPX or the Cover Pro 1000?  I think I might just consider having a finger nail pulled out rather than part with my Janome Cover Pro (well probably not but you catch my drift!)


I LOVE that it has a huge throat plate which is SO much easier for constructing and hemming my projects.


I am also VERY happy with the free arm. I find this is an essential feature when hemming in-the-round especially with narrow circles like cuffs & pant legs. SO glad I have this feature as it makes my garment construction such a breeze.


I could go on & on…..there are so many good reasons why Janome is famous for this extremely popular coverhem serger.  Ease of threading; easy to operate; reliable quality; Janome support; built-in thread stand; no fuss tension; incredible tension release system for going over seams etc;

pic courtesy of

or  the range of great optional accessories;

pic courtesy of

…… But today I would like to share one MORE thing: there is a new foot for the Janome Coverhem machines.  Enter the NEW enhanced coverhem foot



This foot is a little shorter and thicker than the current foot and delivers a great result especially when sewing multiple layers of thin fabric or on uneven surfaces (eg over seams?). This foot feeds the fabric very smoothly; stitch quality is great and skipped stitching is avoided.


This foot is compatible with ALL of the following Janome and Elna models: Janome Coverpro 1000; Janome Coverpro 2000CPX; Elna 444; Elna Easy Cover. 

Contact your local Janome or Elna dealer today to order your new Coverpro foot. The part # for this new foot is #796501015.  Ask your local Janome or Elna dealer in Canada to order this foot for you.  




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Have you heard about THE BIG CANADIAN QUILT BEE?  If not, listen up…….we need your help…… Our national quilting organization: The Canadian Quilters Association/ ACC has decided to really celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with an awesome charity endeavour. CQA/ACC is aiming to be able to donate 1000 quilts to Ronald MacDonald Houses across Canada. 

A rather lovely article has just been published about this project on the Quilts Inc website (Quilts Inc is the organization which produces Quilt Market and Festival in Houston and several other large quilt shows in the USA).  Please read all about Canada’s 150th  and the Big Quilt bee here. 

In addition, pics and reports about the making of these 12 or 24 block slab quilts is all over Facebook, and many other quilting related blogs, Facebook pages and websites. Quilts and quilt tops are pouring in from all over Canada as well from the USA and further afield. It is just too exciting! The Big Quilt Bee has gained traction and is now gathering momentum as Quilt Canada 2017 in June as well as the big official 1st July Canada Day approaches.

Janome is one of the sponsors of the BIG QUILT BEE.  We currently have almost 20 quilt tops here in our Janome office to sandwich, quilt and bind to add to those quilts which will find their way into rooms at Ronald MacDonald Houses to cheer sick kids and their families across Canada. Now we do need to add that we did not personally piece all these quilt tops.  Liz made one 24 slab block quilt top back last October on the Thanksgiving weekend and she thanks the CQA/ACC president, Leslie Whitby who quilted it for Liz.

These quilt tops were donated by quilters in the Fraser Valley of BC.  We believe they handed them in to the CQA/ACC booth at the Abbotsford show last month and we were  given the honours to do the sandwiching & quilting.  Let the quilting begin……..  The plan is to do some Acufeed Flex/ walking foot quilting, some Acufil quilting ( our unique system of using the Janome embroidery machine do the quilting) as well as some free motion quilting. A fun quilting time ahead for sure.

Here are 2 sandwiched and ready for quilting with the big roll of donated batting lying on the floor in front of them. Thank you to N Jeffersons for the batting.

And here are the rest waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. I think most of these quilt tops came from the Abbotsford Quilters Guild, BC but I may be incorrect about this. Hope not? Whoever made them…..THANK YOU you, they are just lovely: bright and cheerful quilt tops.

This bee hive shows the number of quilts currently handed in to CQA/ACC. The number is rising and is updated every so often. YOU CAN HELP CQA/ACC REACH THE GOAL OF 1000 QUILTS.

Have you caught the BIG QUILT BEE fever yet? We sure hope so as it is the very loveliest type of fever to catch! Check out this website for more information about how you can become involved. 



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We shine the spotlight on our Janome Canada Artisan: Cynthia Frenette

Cynthia with her Janome Horizon MC8200

Cynthia has been working with Janome Canada for a while and I know that many of you have seen some of her work firsthand as we carried some of Cynthia’s lovely Maker Series items around to show you at shows and Janome events since last Fall 2016. Cynthia lives in Beautiful BC and you are most welcome to check out her creativity on Instagram  or on her website.  Cynthia is a very creative lady who not only quilts but also designs fabric for Robert Kaufmann Fabrics and operates a Design/Graphics business as well.  Janome is proud to be associated with Cynthia.

You might remember this quilt above from some years ago – in 2012 to be precise – ” Mr Crow ” made by Cynthia which was the FIRST place winner in a Janome quilt competition we held here in Canada. 

We also mentioned Cynthia in a Book review we did on janomelife in June 2016 : Cheryl Arkison of Calgary, Alberta collated a rather nice collection of quilt artists and Cynthia was one of the quilters who is featured in this book with her “bacon” quilt.  The book was called “You inspire me to quilt”

Cynthia’s “bacon” quilt                      Pic courtesy of C&T Publishing

More recently was the simply lovely quilt and pillow below which Cynthia made for the Janome Maker series of machines and our Maker Look Book.  See pages 3-6 for Cynthia’s contributions to this Look Book. I’m sure many of you will recognize these pieces from when we displayed them at shows around Canada or we held them up for you to admire at Janome Dealer events over the last 6-8 months. Cynthia designed the quilt in keeping with the colourful logo on the Maker series of machines (see below for machine pics).

The Mod Pods Pillow, by Cynthia Frenette for Janome

And here is another quilt Cynthia made : Good Friends and Glitter

Our great Janome Maker series of machines + the Limited Edition Canada 150 model featured below. All are now available and in stock in Canada. Ask your local Janome dealer today to show you why these are such a great addition to your sewing room. 

Isn’t this machine just pretty and perfect for commemorating Canada’s 150th AND sewing at the same time?? It comes standard with a quilting table, quilting kit, Ditch quilting foot and that ever so cute little pin cushion on the top of the machine!! Ask your local Janome Canada dealer today for more information.

And keep watching janomelife and more…….Cynthia is currently working on another  project to inspire you……. Coming this summer………. Bet you can’t wait to see WHAT’S NEXT  with Janome!


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Happy Easter Monday! Cute bunny over at Thread Riding Hood. Sherri is one of our Janome Artisans in Canada. She has just published a great blog post with very good information with step-by-step instructions of how to use your Janome embroidery machine to do your quilting.……letting the embroidery unit and hoop do the work of quilting. Aaahhh…….what a way to lighten the load and get the job done quickly and perfectly using Janome AcuDesign App and Janome embroidery! You may wish to check it out.

Sherri is using the Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery combo machine but this same technique can be achieved easily on all of our Janome embroidery machines. Some models have a dedicated hoop for this: the Acufil Quilting hoops (MC11000; MC12000; MC15000, MC500E).

Have you tried quilting with your embroidery hoop?? Perhaps you’d like to share some of your Janome machine embroidery quilting successes on our comment forum? We’d love to hear from you.

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International Centre, Entrance 1
6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON Canada L4V 1E8
with free parking!


Get in early at 9am with advance tickets and e-tickets

Friday, April 28 – 10:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday, April 29 – 10:00am to 5:00pm

And, of course, Janome will be there!

This was a pic from last time…..what will our booth look like this time? Ooooo……you need to come to the show to see!

And check out our janomelife post on Easter Monday showing what can be done with this incredible Janome Skyline S9? …….we think you need to come to the show for a chance to win this machine!!!!

Liz will be teaching 2 classes on the Fashion Arts Stage: Serger Magic 101 on Friday at 2.30pm and Serger Magic 201 on saturday at 10.30am. Check out this link for more details.  on page 1 & 2 of this PDF link. 


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We have mentioned the great website SEW4HOME  many times on janomelife. And today just lookie what popped into my inbox today:

Our very own Education Coordinator at Janome America, Nancy Fiedler,  provided this information to SEW4HOME  about how to turn corners using decorative stitches. It is well written and most helpful. You may think so too….hop on over to SEW4HOME and check it out!

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Spring Sewing

The temps here in Winnipeg have finally started to be consistently above the zero degree mark! That means several things here: 1) it’s shorts weather (ha! maybe not for me but I’m seeing a lot of people who think this is true!); 2) it’s time for some spring-themed sewing.


I dove right in to making this cute little organizer recently. The flowery fabric makes me think of gardening and getting outdoors (although that’s still a bit of ways off as the ground here is still frozen for the most part). And anything that helps me be more organized is always fun in my books!

Make an “Anything Organizer” on the Fly

This will be a make-up organizer for me but it can essentially be used for anything where there are bits and pieces that need their own containment system.

I’ll explain a bit about the basic premise of this project incase you’re inspired for a little spring sewing as well! But this is one of those customize-as-you-go projects.


This project started with two main pieces – an exterior and interior piece – and a lightweight batting. For this project my main pieces were cut 13 inches by 19 inches.


Envision the tri-fold bag divided into three sections. When placing pockets, leave room to fold up the finished bag without catching the pockets.

Pockets were measured out according to various needs. When folded, this organizer has three sections – so I tried to keep that in mind as I created my pockets.

Each pocket consists of two pieces, sewn right sides together and then turned right-sides out and pressed.


For a little extra finish, I rounded the corners on the pockets.

Practice your Favourite Techniques, Or Tackle Something New

There are all sorts of options for pocket closures. I opted for one zippered pocket and one button closure.



Once all the pockets were prepared, the next step was to top stitch the pieces to the interior fabric and batting.


Interior and exterior pieces are then placed right sides together and sewn around all four sides except to leave a two inch opening at the top, right in the middle, to turn right sides out.

Before the organizer was top stitched on all four sides, I made a small loop using a two inch piece of fabric folding like binding and pinned in-between the open section.


Now – fill and organize!


Do your fabric choices change with the season? What projects are currently on your sewing table? What’s on your spring sewing to-do list?

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Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts ( is a Janome artisan and YouTube creator sharing quilting and fabric information each week on her channel ( For more information, and education, join the Chatterbox Quilts’ Facebook group

Last month (see janomelife 22 February)  Kim created a simple spring appliqué project using the Janome Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter and the Memory Craft 500E. The appliqué pieces were cut using the Janome Artistic Edge and then their edges were finished using the Janome Memory Craft 500E.

Here’s a more detailed look at how she created that project using the SimpleCut software that is included with the Janome Artistic Edge 15 digital cutter.
When doing a project like this, you need to create three files:
1. The original file
2. A cut file for use with the Janome Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter
3. An embroidery file for use with the Janome Memory Craft 500E or other embroidery machine.
I started by creating my original file. To do this, I created a new file and, under “Tools”, chose “Insert Symbol”.

Under “Wingdings” I chose a flower design and clicked “Insert”. Psst! You can actually find interesting designs in the Symbols area, so take a look there for design inspiration.

I dragged my cursor out to create the desired size of my first flower. After closing the “Insert Symbol” menu, I copied this flower and pasted it two more times into my project for a total of three identical flowers. To make things a bit more interesting, I adjusted the width of one flower and the length of another.

I selected a flower, chose a colour fill for it from the “Palette” menu and then repeated this process, using a different colour, for each of the flowers. I moved them around until I was satisfied with my design. I selected all of the flowers and added an outline around each of them (I chose black to keep it simple). Shapes need to have an outline around them so you can add stitches to them: no outline, no stitches!

In the fill area (bucket icon) in Object Properties, I checked “Appliqué” and “Fabric Trim” in which area I chose “Pre-cut”.

I then selected the “Cutter presets” based on the type of fabric preparation I was going to use (Fabric backed with Fusible Webbing).

Once I decided on the final design, I saved the file by an easily recognizable name and this was my original file. I then needed to create the cut file to use with the Janome Artistic Edge so that it could cut out the flower shapes.
I created the cut file by opening the original file and saving it as the same name with the addition of the word “cut”. For this file I chose “Cut” under the Outline area in Object Properties. The Cutter presets remained the same as my original file.

To create the embroidery file which would be exported via USB memory stick to the Janome Memory Craft 500E, I saved the original file again with the addition of the word “embroidery” or “emb”. Rather than choosing “Cut” under the Outline area in Object Properties, I selected the desired appliqué shape and then chose one of the hundreds of stitches available in the Running Stitch or Satin Stitch categories for that shape.

For this project I chose different stitches for each of the appliqué shapes. Once I was satisfied with my stitch selections, I saved this embroidery file in a *JEF format (the Janome embroidery format) in the “Save as type” area.

I used the “Cut” file to cut out all the appliqué shapes on my Janome Artistic Edge. I uploaded the “Embroidery” file to the Janome Memory Craft 500E and stitched out the appliqué outlines, which showed me where to fuse the appliqué shapes. I was then able to “ask” the Janome 500E to finish he appliqué edges with the pre-determined stitches. The ability of the Janome Memory Craft 500E to adjust the needle position by teeny, tiny jumps was really helpful in positioning the needle exactly where I wanted the stitches to be placed on the appliqué pieces. I decided to use white thread for all of the stitching, which kept thread changes to a minimum (none at all!) and was really pleased by the final outcome.
While the project is now in an embroidery hoop – a hand one, not a machine one – I can always take it out, add some borders, and make it into a mini quilt.

I’ll then be able to quilt this project on my Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP in no time. Loving how all my Janome machines work in perfect harmony!
Kim Jamieson-Hirst

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